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Old 03-11-2005, 06:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Stupid Question About Cleaning Computer

I told myself that when i finally had my new computer built i would clean it once a month or whenever it needs it.

I bought a can of the compressed air but how good does this stuff clean the case out? Not that i have any other option to clean it out with..Just lookin for some tips on the best way to spray out the case. I used this stuff once before on my old computer and i remember sometimes some liquid would come out of the can and land on whatever piece of the hardware i was spraying. Will this liquid damage anything? (My old computer still worked when it happened) I just wanna be cautious with my new computer and not fuck it up.

Thanks.
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Old 03-11-2005, 07:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If you hold the can upright, the liquid will not come out. Open up the case, take it outside and just blow the dust and crap out. it should be fine.. be sure to blow out inside the power supply too...
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Old 03-11-2005, 07:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Remember to try and point the nozzle out of the case. You don't want to blow the dust and crap farther into the case/power supply.
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Old 03-11-2005, 07:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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i would also like to add that you should use short bursts, don't just hold the trigger for a long period of time. Some of them even come with a tube to attach to the nozzle, you can keep the bottle flat on the table and just move the tube around. Make sure you get the fins of the cooling fan really good. If you want to clean your monitor just use a microfiber cloth, you can wipe down the whole monitor without scratching anything.
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Old 03-11-2005, 08:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice guys.
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Last edited by IC3; 03-11-2005 at 08:13 AM..
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Old 03-11-2005, 08:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I have found that a decent wet/dry vac will work just as good, if not a little better than a can of air. That way you won't have to worry about pushing the dust and crap any further into the case.
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Old 03-11-2005, 08:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
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<-- works for a company that makes canned air among other things. Haha, endless supply.
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Old 03-11-2005, 10:23 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bendsley
<-- works for a company that makes canned air among other things. Haha, endless supply.
The cans are $5 a bottle, and I always play with the damn air so they don't last very long. Lucky mofo.
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Old 03-11-2005, 10:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killeena
I have found that a decent wet/dry vac will work just as good, if not a little better than a can of air. That way you won't have to worry about pushing the dust and crap any further into the case.
They're dangerous to sensitive electronics because of static discharge.
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Old 03-11-2005, 01:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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yea do NOT use a vacumm around computers..
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Old 03-11-2005, 02:11 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Don't forget to clean out any fan filters that your case may have.

Also, the liquid can damage things. (If memory serves)It is Carbon Dioxide in its liquid state. It is VERY cold. Parts that are sensitive to rapid temperature change can be damaged.
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Old 03-11-2005, 06:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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But if the parts survive the temp change, there shouldn't be any damage (since CO2 will evaporate).

Well, i've always used a vacumn to clean out my comp, and i've never had any issues. Where does this static discharge come from?
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Old 03-11-2005, 07:30 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Keep in mind that modern motherboards have 3.3 V running through the motherboard even when the computer is "off." I always kill power to my PSU before spraying air, just in case any fluid comes out of the can.
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Old 03-11-2005, 08:03 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlin
But if the parts survive the temp change, there shouldn't be any damage (since CO2 will evaporate).
Thermal contraction and expansion cause fatigue in materials. Shouldn't be a big deal if the computer has cooled but if a component is hot before you freeze it you could destroy it completely. The quickest way to destruction is to freeze just part of a larger, hot, component.

Quote:
Well, i've always used a vacumn to clean out my comp, and i've never had any issues. Where does this static discharge come from?
A charge can be created by walking across the floor, rubbing your nylons, etc. Moving air creates a charge. Quickly moving air does it quickly.

Vacuums aren't always dangerous but they can be, and vacuums aren't just dangerous because of ESD. Vacuums:

-can be unwieldy. Easy to knock components & cables loose. (the most common and immediate vacuum hazard I've seen)
-can conduct charges between the hozzle and motor, and are usually ungrounded.
-create their own charge through air movement, and can hold it until you touch a conductor.

The ESD problem comes from a combination of circumstances not unique to vacuums. Damage from ESD implies a charge, possibly generated over a long period, then a transfer of that charge to vulnerable components. Just about everything in your computer is either vulnerable or connected to something vulnerable.

There are ways to minimize problems. Keeping everything at the same potential by touching the case and vacuum hose at all times. Not shuffling your feet. Doing your work away from carpet, ad infinitum. (google ESD prevention)

The "don't vacuum your semiconductors" rule comes from industry and military experience. Through tool choices and habits you can be lucky for years but in general it's not the best idea. It's definitely not smart to recommend to someone who might use their 15HP shopvac to lift dust & those pesky parallel traces.

BTW, there are vacuums made for electronics cleaning work that have a nozzle path to ground. Use that in your disclaimers to be safe.
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Old 03-12-2005, 04:52 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glava
The cans are $5 a bottle, and I always play with the damn air so they don't last very long. Lucky mofo.
I too do this... they are just so damn fun. My personal favorite is turning the can upside down and freezing either a) water or b) paper with the spray.
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Old 03-16-2005, 08:24 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glava
They're dangerous to sensitive electronics because of static discharge.
Oops!
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Old 03-16-2005, 08:43 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FloydianOne
I too do this... they are just so damn fun. My personal favorite is turning the can upside down and freezing either a) water or b) paper with the spray.
Hahaha, a co-worker did that on his cube wall (yes, it was pretty much allowed as we had full control over our area and how it was "decorated"). We would freeze pop bottles and watch the ice evaporate. Man, good use of office time :-D
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